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Celebrate Your Wedding Anniversary With Truly Modern Gifts

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Recently, I have had many loved ones celebrate wedding anniversaries. Traditionally, yearly as well as milestone anniversaries come with a list of gifts that can be given in celebration, and in recent years, modern lists have been compiled. Despite the modern items added to these lists, one couple I know seemed a little bored with even this list of “modern” anniversary gifts, since many of the items on the list seemed a bit old-fashioned. Included on the “modern” lists are things like china, crystal, and silver. So, I took it upon myself, as a Generation Y writer, to come up with a modern anniversary gift list, with a twist.

For reference, I am using Hallmark’s list of milestone anniversary gifts, and then changing up the listed items for more modern, chic gifts.

1st YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Traditional: Paper
Modern: Clocks
New Modern Twist: Watch
As the first year is a large milestone for a couple, I think that something along the lines of a watch would be appropriate. It would represent the time together, and would be a sentimental piece of jewelry to go along with the significant wedding bands the couples share.

A timeless piece like this would make the perfect present. Photo by André Karwath.
A timeless piece like this would make the perfect present. Photo by André Karwath.

5th YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Traditional: Tin/Aluminum
Modern: Diamond Jewelry
New Modern Twist: Personalized item
 
Since this could be considered the first “milestone” anniversary, getting something to signify that would be appropriate. To me, that would be something with your names and wedding year on it, or maybe last name. There are many places that personalize, and anything like this would make a unique present.

Though this is just a decoration, there is an infinite amount of things couples can personalize, whether with initials, last name, or a quote or saying. Many can be ordered online. Photo by Gemma Morgan.
Though this is just a decoration, there is an infinite amount of things couples can personalize, whether with initials, last name, or a quote or saying. Many can be ordered online. Photo by Gemma Morgan.

10th YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Traditional: Wood
Modern: Silverware
New Modern Twist: Dining room set
Silverware is a gift that could be given to a couple for their wedding, by family or friends, and is often seen on a registry. Or, at times, it is something that couples purchase together. So, I figure, after ten years together, maybe a home improvement item would be more appropriate. Combining together the traditional gift, wood, and the “modern” gift, silverware, even a new dining room set or upgrade to a dining room set would work.

This classic dining room table could be an appropriate upgrade gift. Photo by HelenOnline.
This classic dining room table could be an appropriate upgrade gift. Photo by HelenOnline.

15th YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Traditional: Crystal
Modern: Watches
New Modern Twist: Tech gadget
As I used a watch above for a smaller anniversary, I think the 15th anniversary should be some sort of gadget. In this age of technology, there are many choices for the couples that have been together a significant amount of time, but not so long that they are past this technological time. And it doesn’t have to be pricey. Something like a FitBit or a Kindle would work.

An Amazon Kindle would be a thoughtful and semi-inexpensive gift for a wedding anniversary. Photo by NotFromUtrecht.
An Amazon Kindle would be a thoughtful and semi-inexpensive gift for a wedding anniversary. Photo by NotFromUtrecht.

20th YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Traditional: China
Modern: Platinum
New Modern Twist: Day or weekend trip
I’m not sure platinum still works as a gift, because, again, it would most likely be some sort of kitchen object or decoration. I think after 20 years, an appropriate gift would be something the couple could enjoy together, like a weekend at a bed & breakfast or a day at a winery. Celebrating an anniversay doesn’t have to mean giving a tangible gift.

A trip to a vineyard like this one provides a gift for both, and would be different than a traditional gift. Photo by Jim G.
A trip to a vineyard like this one provides a gift for both, and would be different than a traditional gift. Photo by Jim G.

25th YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Traditional: Silver
Modern: Silver
New Modern Twist: A silver object
Since silver has not changed as a common anniversary gift overtime, I think that a twist on silver is a good use of this gift. For example, for my parent’s 25th anniversary, my siblings and I bought them a silver picture frame and a silver tree ornament. I think silver is appropriate, but you can find modern gift ideas made of silver instead of just buying a silver dish or goblet.

This silver table decoration would make a cool anniversary gift, tying in the traditional silver with the modern gift approach. Photo by Thomasin Durgin.
This silver table decoration would make a cool anniversary gift, tying in the traditional silver with the modern gift approach. Photo by Thomasin Durgin.

30th YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Traditional: Pearl
Modern: Diamond
New Modern Twist: Outdoor fun
When you’ve been married this long, sometimes a twist on your everyday lives may be in order. You’re still young, so anything that gets you out of the house would be ideal. Ice skates, a kayak or canoe, or just some hiking boots, anything for the outdoors would be exciting and would provide a combination of a tangible gift with a day or weekend spent together.

Getting outside in something fun, like a kayak, provides a break from reality and also could bring couples closer together. Photo by Szumyk.
Getting outside in something fun, like a kayak, provides a break from reality and also could bring couples closer together. Photo by Szumyk.

35th YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Traditional: Coral
Modern: Jade
New Modern Twist: Digital Picture Book
After 30 years, couples have many photos that cover memories from decades of life together. In the modern age, it’s easy to organize photos in albums thaty ou can order online, right from your computer. A digital picture book of the last 30 years would make a great, modern gift for a couple that will last a lifetime, and that can be passed down to children and grandchildren.

A twist on the traditional photo album, this book of memories would be perfect for celebrating a lifetime together on your anniversary. Photo by Paolo Pace.
A twist on the traditional photo album, this book of memories would be perfect for celebrating a lifetime together on your anniversary. Photo by Paolo Pace.

40th YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Traditional: Ruby
Modern: Ruby
New Modern Twist: Jewelry with stone of your choice
Since 35 years together would represent a sense of maturity in the couple and the marriage, getting each other something with a choice of a timeless jewel would be incredibly appropriate, and would signify an appreciation of the past as well as the ability to move into modern thinking.

These jewels could each be choices for stones to include in a statement piece as a gift. Photo by Rob Lavinksy.
These jewels could each be choices for stones to include in a statement piece as a gift. Photo by Rob Lavinksy.

45th YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Traditional: Sapphire
Modern: Sapphire
New Modern Twist: Mini bar refrigerator
Since in the 40th anniversary category, I put any type of jewel, these next two will not include the traditional or modern choices, both of which are jewels. Rubys aren’t exactly practical, so more useful gifts seem appropriate. Additionally, couples at this stage are empty nesters and sometimes grandparents. I think that this would be a “treat yourself” anniversary, with a gift like a mini bar refrigerator to accompany your lived-in home. This is something that would allow couples to kick back and relax after playing with the grandkids or working towards retirement.

The minibar would be a practical but also enjoyable gift for any couple, and would accompany a marriage well, encouraging relaxing and taking a well-deserved break.
The minibar would be a practical but also enjoyable gift for any couple, and would accompany a marriage well, encouraging relaxing and taking a well-deserved break.

50th YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Traditional: Gold
Modern: Gold
New Modern Twist: Vow renewal
As much as gold is traditional and sometimes unarguable, I think an appropriate gift for the 50th anniversary would be a vow renewal or reception. Again, not tangible, but more sentimental and important to long-married couples.

Renewing vows makes the anniversary even more special, and reminds couples what their rings represent when they are given the opportunity to look at them again. Photo by Kevin.
Renewing vows makes the anniversary even more special, and reminds couples of their rings when they are given the opportunity to really look at them again. Photo by Kevin.

60th YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Traditional: Diamond
Modern: Diamond
New Modern Twist: Diamond
I can’t fight tradition forever. Diamonds are classic, and, at your 60th anniversary, you may want a new one in your wedding ring. Or, you could get a diamond necklace, earrings, or, for the guy in your life, cufflinks. Diamonds really do work as a great anniversary gift, especially after this long together.

Diamonds define tradition and love, so they remain appropriate throughout time and throughout anniversary history. Photo by Mario Sarto.
Diamonds define tradition and love, so they remain appropriate throughout time and throughout anniversary history. Photo by Mario Sarto.

 

 

 

 

About the author

Josie Bungert

Josie Bungert

Josie is a recent graduate of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where she studied journalism & English. In her time at Creighton, she was Editor in Chief of their student publication, The Creightonian, and was also published as an intern at Omaha Magazine. In her free time, she enjoys blogging and running, and is a lover of weddings, cats & coffee.

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